The first technical studio Vynakhidnyk opened in 2008, Kyiv. It was a space of non-curricular education for children from 3 to 16 years of age with
a focus on the progressive STEM method. The training was based on
a combination of exact disciplines: science, technology, engineering,
'Almost for the first time in the history of the Ukrainian education system children were proposed to explore the ways the world works and gain practical technical knowledge through playing with LEGO educational kit rather than learning things by rote.'
—Maksym Iliukhyn, Fedoriv agency strategist
In 10 years the Inventor network has grown to 28 studios (27 in Ukraine and one—a partner school in Moldova), became the official distributor of LEGO Education in Ukraine and dramatically changed the approach to training.
Despite favourable location and positive feedback from parents, the studios remained unfilled by 30–40%, in the older groups—by 60%.
To change the situation, we had to find the roots of the problem and take action.
Research & Strategy
We started with research. Having interviewed dozens of parents and studio managers, we found out a few important things.
To stand out from others, we had to prove that instead of teaching children a certain profession, we aimed at developing their ability to think creatively and cultivating the love of learning, so that they become whatever they want when grown up!
We identified the main advantage of the studio: the combination of science and creativity, which helps a child develop the skills of the future innovator and become a successful adult. Building on this, we developed a new positioning and proposed new name: this is how the technical studio Vynakhidnyk turned into the Inventor STEM School—the key that unlocks a child's potential.
Everything—from the interiors of schools to the workbooks’ design—had to irradiate the atmosphere of creativity. Inspired by the children's playrooms, in which an orderly chaos dominated, we created a free design system that allowed anyone who worked with it to become a creator and co-author.
And then, it was about time to make changes in the product.
To make it easier for parents to choose a course, we updated our training system and grouped the courses according to a child's age into three packages: Junior, Middle, and Senior. We renamed the courses so that the essence of each course could be understood from its name, and highlighted the skills and competencies a child could
We developed a system of gamification that motivates students to work hard, not to miss classes and to move on to the next courses. From now on, in each lesson, the children develop the four key competencies:
creativity, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and scientific and technical literacy—earning points that can be exchanged for prizes. At the end of the course, they get a diploma with their marks so that parents can also see the results.
To solve the problem of shortage of students in the adult groups,
we proposed to create a Minecraft Education course based on the popular computer game (and that turned out to be right, as the places in the first groups were sold out in a few days!).
We also improved the system of recruitment and professional development of teachers: from selection procedure, which became more complex and interesting, to motivation program and conditions for professional growth.
Now we needed to get people to hear about our renewal. Due to the limited budget, we focused on out-of-home advertising and digital promotion.
We placed billboards near the Inventor schools to attract the maximum number of visitors living nearby and to increase knowledge among the target audience—young families residing in bedroom communities.
We continued to communicate on Facebook and Instagram: targeting parents, we invited them to visit the landing page and sign up for an open day.
All that inspired teachers to make further changes—in a few months after launching our strategy, the school independently developed a training game using AR technology, which became a part of the motivation system for the students.
The campaign helped attract 20% more students compared to 2017 and increased the percentage of those who moved on to the next courses from 55% to 75%. And what is more, a year after the campaign, five new franchise schools were opened.
And we are just getting started!)
director and founder of the company — Stoietska Oksana
project director and founder of the company — Stoietskyi Volodymyr
head of stem-middle department — Solovyova Marina
head of stem-senior department — Sidorchenko Igor
head of stem-junior department — Reznichenko Irina
head of design department — Grishin Artem
designer — Wernidub Bogdan
head of marketing — Yaskevych Victoria
smm-manager — Chobanja-Gerzanich Natalia
internet marketing manager — Olga Ulyanova
chief financial officer — Vyshnevska Iryna
manager of quality and service evaluation — Shevtsova Iryna
head of franchising networks — Artemchuk Iryna
director, operator, edit — Nikita Kazmiruk
director, art director — Arkadij Pasechnik
operator, edit — Vova Kalischuk
operator — Roman Belo
edit — Ivan Semak
make up — Katya Bubnova
colorist — Kostiantyn Lishchyna
sound engineer — Andrew Borisenko
sound engineer — Aleksandr Konoval
sound engineer — Timofiy Chepurniy
photographer — Lana Andrushchenko
producer — Ilya Shelpuk